Archive for the 'Bobby Jindal' Category

Published by admin on 16 Nov 2012

Hardball blasts Jindal’s support for creationism in Louisiana

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By Barbara Forrest

Louisiana residents who support teaching good science — which includes evolution — will find it hard to see Bobby Jindal’s comments in his November 13 Politico interview as anything except an opportunistic pivot for the sake of his national ambitions.

It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that. . . . It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.

Really, governor? If that’s the case, then your constituents can count on your public support next year for the repeal of the creationist Louisiana Science Education Act that you signed in 2008 as a favor to your friends at the Louisiana Family Forum, right?

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Published by admin on 11 Apr 2012

Like Louisiana Needs More Bad Publicity

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By Barbara Forrest

One would think that after the Louisiana legislature passed and Bobby Jindal signed the creationist Louisiana Science Education Act in 2008, we folks down here in the Pelican State would get used to bad publicity. And the truth is, we are pretty used to it. But that doesn’t mean that we have totally lost our capacity for mortification when we hear more news that should make everyone down here blush from embarrassment. Dr. Len Bahr, a retired coastal scientist who writes the excellent Lacoastpost blog, now informs us that another — very highly paid — Louisiana public official is a creationist.

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Published by admin on 27 Dec 2011

Ringing Out 2011: “Battle over Science in Louisiana”

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By  Barbara Forrest

The year 2011 is about to end, and this gives the Louisiana Coalition for Science (LCFS) a chance to highlight two cool things:  (1) a new article by LCFS member Dr. Ian Binns entitled “Battle over Science in Louisiana” published in (2) Reports of the National Center for Science Education (RNCSE, pronounced “rensee”), which is now freely available online. (The Binns article is here [pdf].) Until recently, Dr. Binns was a science educator at Louisiana State University; he is now at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Throughout 2010-2011, he was an integral participant in LCFS’s successful effort to protect the selection of state-approved biology textbooks, and he took the lead in our successful effort to block the passage of HB 580, which would have undermined state oversight of school districts’ purchase of science materials. In the November-December 2011 issue of RNCSE, Dr. Binns has chronicled the attack on science education that took place after the passage of the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA).

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Published by admin on 14 Oct 2011

What Louisiana Science Teachers Are Required to Do Under the LA Science Education Act (updated)

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By Barbara Forrest

Many teachers and administrators in Louisiana public schools — and probably some students and parents, too — may be wondering what science teachers are required to do under the terms of the creationist Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), which became law with Bobby Jindal’s signature in June 2008.  The law and the implementation policy adopted by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) allow teachers to bring creationist materials into their classrooms and use them until they get caught doing it. We know that the law permits this because (a) Sen. Ben Nevers, the bill’s sponsor, said so, and (b) the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) successfully lobbied BESE to delete the prohibitions against teaching creationism from the policy that implements the law. So evolution, the “origins of life,” global warming, and human cloning are all fair game in science classrooms. So now, with the law on the books, what do teachers have to do as a result? Here, after three years, is the definitive answer:

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Published by admin on 13 Jul 2011

Louisiana: The Cartoon State

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By Barbara Forrest      

OK, readers, who knows what these two pictures have in common?

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Published by admin on 31 Dec 2010

Power (and bucks) over principle at the Louisiana Family Forum


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By Barbara Forrest

The December 28 Baton Rouge Advocate ran a very nice editorial about Zachary Kopplin’s contribution to the Louisiana Coalition for Science’s successful effort to secure approval of biology textbooks for Louisiana public schools on December 7.

The newest giant-killer in state education policy? A 17-year-old student from Baton Rouge High School, who became the spokesman against new efforts to attack the theory of evolution. . . .

Enter Zack Kopplin, an earnest student who campaigned for sound science and against neo-creationism in schools. Kopplin had some help. Members of BESE were contacted by many people who want Louisiana students to learn the facts of science, not the [Louisiana] Family Forum’s mumbo-jumbo.

But the part that attracted Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) executive director Rev. Gene Mills’s attention was the editorial’s brief reference to his organization. Continue Reading »

Published by admin on 20 Dec 2010

Merry Kitzmas, everybody! A gift from the Louisiana Coalition for Science


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By Barbara Forrest

It’s Kitzmastime! Today, December 20, marks the fifth anniversary of the victory for science education and the Constitution in the case of Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District (2005). As a result of the ruling [pdf] in favor of the plaintiffs delivered by Judge John E. Jones III, we now have a landmark legal opinion that will serve as the resource of first resort for the judge in the next case stirred up either by the creationists at the Discovery Institute or their foot soldiers in Whereverville, USA. This notable pre-Christmas holiday comes on the heels of a victory for science education in Louisiana: the decision by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to approve new high school biology textbooks for public schools. To celebrate both this local victory and the Kitzmastide anniversary, the Louisiana Coalition for Science has an inspirational Kitzmas present for you. Continue Reading »

Published by admin on 28 Jun 2010

Irony as Thick as Gulf Oil in Louisiana


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By Barbara Forrest

There are times when the irony of life is so thick that one has to just stand back and marvel at it. Now is one of those times in Louisiana. June 25, 2010, marked exactly two years to the day since Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the creationist Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA). Now, with coastal wildlife trapped and dying in sludge, with the human beings of the Gulf Coast facing the loss of culture, livelihoods, and our beautiful wetlands — courtesy of BP — Gov. Jindal felt called to set aside June 27 as an official day of prayer for divine assistance in “persevering” through this mess — and to post the call to prayer on his official state website. In 2008, his constituents couldn’t even get him to acknowledge the letters he got from scientists and citizens who asked him to veto the LSEA. But now, with the Gulf of Mexico hemorrhaging oil, he was only too happy to sign an official proclamation declaring a “Statewide Day of Prayer for Perseverance Through Oil Spill Crisis” [pdf]. The irony of this is as thick as the oil in the Gulf. Continue Reading »

Published by admin on 20 Jun 2010

We need some Florida backbone in the Louisiana legislature.

Request to readers: If Louisiana readers like the posts on this website, please consider sharing them with as many people as possible, including your elected officials, science teacher friends, school administrators, school board members, media contacts, etc. Please don’t spam; be considerate and send them only to people whom you think will benefit from them.


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By Barbara Forrest

The title of this post may sound strange. But read on, and you will see that there is more backbone in a minority of the members of the Florida legislature than in the entire Louisiana legislature. Just as it was doing in Louisiana, the Discovery Institute, a creationist think tank in Seattle, was maneuvering in Florida to get its academic freedom (read: “stealth creationism”) legislation passed in the state of Florida in 2008. But the outcome in Florida was very different than the outcome in Louisiana. On February 29, 2008, a Discovery Institute “academic freedom” bill was introduced in the Florida Senate by Sen. Ronda Storms. That bill, SB 2962, passed. On March 4, a companion bill, HB 1483, was introduced in the House by Rep. Alan Hays. It also passed. In April, as the National Center for Science Education reported, “The antievolution bills — the so-called Academic Freedom Acts — in Florida are progressing, despite protests from teachers, scientists, and the Florida ACLU, and despite the criticisms of the legislature’s own staff.” By April 28, however, there was some doubt as to whether creationists in the Florida legislature could reconcile their own differences in time to get the bill passed before the legislature adjourned on May 2. They did not, and the legislation died. In 2009, creationists in the Florida legislature made another attempt at getting academic freedom legislation passed, but SB 2396 fortunately did not even get to the floor, and the bill died in committee. (See the excellent Florida Citizens for Science website.)

Florida seems to have learned its lesson (for the time being). The notable thing about Florida, however, was the vocal resistance to these creationist bills by Florida legislators on the debate floor of the House and Senate in 2008. (See videos below.) There was no such resistance on the floor of the Louisiana House and Senate when the Louisiana Science Education Act (LEA) was making its way through the legislature at exactly the same time as the Florida bills. In fact, where the Louisiana legislature is concerned, except for three “no” votes (pdf) in the House (which the three legislators cast without comment), there was no resistance at all. Continue Reading »

Published by admin on 25 Apr 2010

Nothin’ in Louisiana but “Academic Freedom” (Right)

By Barbara Forrest

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Quote #1:

I think a real careful reading of the statute itself would show that religion is prohibited from being taught in any classroom in the state of Louisiana under the auspices of this law. . . . I think it enhances academic freedom and expands a student’s right to know . . . .

Quote #2:

This is strictly about teaching science in the classroom. . . . It has nothing to do with religion. . . . I have been criticized, but I had no meaning other than what the bill says. . . . I think this is certainly needed in Louisiana, and I think it will be a model across the nation.

Would anyone like to guess who made these statements? Continue Reading »

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